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Intersessional Briefing on Ukraine
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
December 19, 2023

Intersessional Briefing on Ukraine

Statement by the United States of America 

Delivered by Kelly Billingsley, Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Human Rights Council

Thank you, Mr. President.

And thank you, High Commissioner, for your ongoing work and that of the Human Rights Monitoring Mission to bring Russia’s atrocities to light with careful documentation and professional rigor.

Since February 2022, Russia has forcibly transferred or deported Ukrainian children from occupied areas of Ukraine, including babies as young as four months old. These are crimes for which the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for President Putin.

In the words of President Biden, “We’ve all seen the brutality that Putin has inflicted on Ukraine: invading another country; trying to subjugate his neighbors to his iron rule; committing atrocities against Ukrainian civilians; trying to plunge them into the cold and darkness of winter by bombing their electrical grid… Russian forces are committing war crimes. It’s as simple as that.”

Russia is the sole obstacle to peace in Ukraine. But the Kremlin has yet to demonstrate any meaningful interest in ending its war of aggression.

Mr. President, we will continue standing in solidarity with Ukraine and remain absolutely committed to holding members of Russia’s forces and other Russian officials accountable for their atrocities.

Mr. High Commissioner, what steps has Russia taken to comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law to share information about and provide access to detained civilians?

I thank you